Traveling is the best way to spend some quality time with your loved ones as it helps in making the bond grow stronger. Also, it recharges you as you take a break from the monotonous and routine life. You live at leisure without following any programmed schedule. You explore each other by traveling together as a family. Traveling with family is always fun but needs proper planning to make a trip enjoyable and stress-free. Here, I am sharing a few tips and tricks to note for a successful and stress-free family vacation from my personal experience. These pointers will surely help in making your vacation a memorable one.
Make feasible and doable plans: Make doable and realistic plans when traveling with the family. Your itinerary should be designed keeping all members of the group in mind. Their age, capacity to travel, health conditions, etc. Rosy plans won’t work, so be practical and plan accordingly to everyone’s needs. Keep a margin and enough time in hand when you are on a road trip with the family, especially when you have kids or elderly members too. Take breaks at regular intervals to relax and stretch the legs. It is not easy for the kids and old people to sit in the same posture for a longer time. Breaks will help to avoid meltdown moments.
- If you are traveling with a physically challenged/disabled member, ensure carrying a foldable wheelchair with you. There are many portable ones available in the market, opt for those. It will save some boot space.
- Make sure you keep a medical kit while traveling. In case any member has any particular medical issues, don’t forget to pack all the medicines and keep them handy like asthma inhalers, and other first aid medicines.
- If you carrying a stroller for kids or a wheelchair, check beforehand whether the roads in the city you are traveling to are wheel friendly.
- Check the weather forecast before planning your trip.
Destination selection: Choosing a destination wisely is very important when traveling with the family. Opt for a destination which has direct connectivity by train or flight from your origin point. If planning a road trip, then select a place which can be traveled without exerting yourself and other members. Be practical in terms of driving. Make sure everyone is seated well and comfortably, overloading your car will make your journey tiring.
Try to choose a destination which is kid friendly and family friendly. Navigating jungles, trekking, hiking, discovering the obscure destinations may not be a great idea when traveling with old people. Save these for your solo or couple trips.
Book an apartment:
Apartments are the best stay option when you are traveling with the family. It gives you privacy as well as comfort too and adds fun to your vacation. Things become quite convenient when you have an entire apartment at your disposal. You can also check Airbnb as they also offer a functional kitchen like apartments, which is a perfect deal when you have kids or oldies with you. You can cook in case they have any special food requirements.
While choosing accommodation, you should always book the one which is close to the center of the city. It will not only save your traveling time to the sightseeing attractions but also you will save money. It will reduce the need for taxis, cabs or any other public transportation.
Another advantage of booking an apartment close to the main attractions is that if any of the elderly members feel tired or the kids wants to take rest or a nap, you can return soon. It is always advisable to book your stay well in advance. Don’t forget to refer to the reviews of the property before booking it. Check with the hotel about the pick and drop taxi service from the airport or railway station and if available, opt for it. It is a convenient option for the entire family.
Contact book: You need to be prepared for any kind of emergency while traveling hence it is always advisable to keep a phone book handy with the contact numbers of all your friends and family members who can be contacted. Remember to add your hotel and doctor’s number also to call in case you need.
Don’t keep running: It is not feasible to cover many places in a few days when traveling with family. So, plan your itinerary at leisure. This is the major difference in traveling solo and with family. Holidays are for rejuvenation so take it easy and not like a project to discover the whole world during the trip. Explore, eat, enjoy, discover, relax, travel, make memories. No point running throughout the day to cover all the spots and come back tired. Have fun while traveling.
Engaged kids are the happy kids: If you are traveling with kids, you are going to raise them in a different city or country for a few days. No, I am not scaring you, just familiarizing with the reality. You would still be screaming at them but just to make it a little simpler and less stressful, I have a few tips and tricks. Keeping your little ones engaged is the key to a successful vacation. And I am telling this with experience.
My mantra I swear by is to include kid-friendly destinations/activities in my itinerary like boating, amusement parks, water rides, train rides, etc. I let them indulge in their gadgets while I relax and enjoy my me time. It is absolutely OK to watch cartoons and play their favorite movie as vacation is for them too, right? Don’t forget to load your phone/ i-pads /tablets with a lot of their favorite stuff before leaving home. Treat them with their favorite meal to avoid those meltdown moments.
Eatables and other essentials: When traveling with family, don’t forget to pack ample of water and food. You can keep the packaged or homemade, mess-free snacks to munch on. A few of my favorites while traveling are dry fruits, dry cakes, muffins, fruits, sandwiches, makhane (foxnuts), pretzels, baked chips, crackers, etc. Also carry facewash, sanitizers, paper soap strips, tissues, wet wipes on a road trip.
Keep your camera ready: I love candid shots as they are the best. Take lots and lots of photos and videos during the trip. Capture those random moments – silly, crazy, laughing, frowning, happy and all. Get on the street and absorb the charm of nature and collect memories. As they say, a family that eats together, prays together, travels together stays together. Go and live life.
You can read my last post in this series here